We will kickoff in 2011 with a series of posts on important bonsai pot artists from Japan.  These articles will be interspersed throughout 2011 as there are over sixty artists our blog will cover.  We want to personally thank Yorozu-en bonsai garden for putting together this excellent retrospective on bonsai pots.

All of these photographs are Copyrighted Yorozu-en 2010-2011.  If you would like to purchase the CD containing these photographs for 3,000 Yen, please click this link.

Our posts will only show a tiny subset of the photos available on this CD as there are over 2,000 photographs.

Tofukuji (6.6 x 5.3 x 3.9 cm)

Tofukuji (6.6 x 5.3 x 3.9 cm)

This is a very interesting glaze by Tofukuji.  He created many red pots that were more vibrant in color but we haven’t seen this more subdued red.

Tofukuji (11x8x3.5 cm)

Tofukuji (11x8x3.5 cm)

A beautiful glaze that reminds us of a very clear and cold starry night looking at the Milky Way.  We purchased a Tofukuji pot at Kokufu in 2008 and at times wondered if it was real or not; there are so many fakes one has to be careful.  We are now convinced it is real since this glaze is reminiscent of our pot and the clay is identical.  One real give away on fake Tofukuji pots is the clay.

Tofukuji (13x23cm)

Tofukuji (13x23cm)

This is a well known pot if you have any of the Japanese bonsai pot books. What we love about this design is the use of the glaze inside the pot that mirrors the glaze on the front surface.

Tofukuji (13x9.5x3.4cm)

Tofukuji (13x9.5x3.4cm)

This is a good example of the unglazed pots that Tofukuji created during his lifetime.  Notice the type of clay with the lighter flecks of clay. This is a sign of a real Tofukuji pot.

Tofukuji (9.5x6.2x4cm)

Tofukuji (9.5x6.2x4cm)

There aren’t too many Tofukuji pots that are hand painted.  The records show that these pots were painted by someone else and we have yet to determine who actually did the paintings.  These pots command a high price as do most real Tofukuji pots.

Tofukuji Artist Marks

As with many potters, the artist mark (hanko, chop mark) vary greatly. Perhaps someone knows why the variation between pots or perhaps just overtime they changed but it would be a subject for a great book to understand the designator of how and when Tofukuji decided to use them.

The next seven photographs make up the majority of artist marks used by Tofukuji during his lifetime.

Tofukuji - Example 1

Tofukuji - Example 1

Tofukuji - Example 2

Tofukuji - Example 2

Example two is one of the most recognized artist marks in the world.

Tofukuji - Example 3

Tofukuji - Example 3

Some of his pots have more than one mark. In this unusual example there are three of them.

Tofukuji - Example 4

Tofukuji - Example 4

Tofukuji - Example 5

Tofukuji - Example 5

Tofukuji - Example 6

Tofukuji - Example 6

Tofukuji - Example 7

Tofukuji - Example 7

We believe you would enjoy the Yorozu-en bonsai pot CD with the number of pots shown. For example there are eight pages of Tofukuji pots alone.  Well we hope your new year is off to a good start.  Check back in a few days for more important bonsai pots.

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